Skip to main content

Full text of "Bill Cheek - World Scanner Report"

See other formats



PO Box 262478 

San Diego, California 92196-2478 
Voice Orders ONLY: (1:30pm - 6:30pm, PST): (619) 578-9247 
Computer BBS & FAX: (6:00pm - 1:00pm, PST): (619) 578-9247 



Available NOW, at long last, the most powerful VHF-UHF 
Monitoring tool ever devised! The HB-232 Scanner/Computer 
Interface turns your PRO-2004, PRO-2005 or PRO-2006 scanner 
& flexibility not available anywhere else! So many features and 
potent capabilities can now be at your fingertips 'that it is 
impossible to discuss them all here, but following is a brief outline, 
maybe enough to convince you that one magnificent performance 
package has just made its unprecedented debut! 

tlie SQUELCH breaks (a signal comes in) the computer writes & 
appends a line to a text file that contains the channel number or 
SEARCH Bank; frequency; MODE setting (NFM, AM or WFM); 
DELAY status (On or Off); LOCKOUT status; SEARCH Mode & 
STEP increment (if applicable); Date; Start Time; and Duration of 
transmission! This file is "comma-delimited" to make it easy to 
load into a database manager for more processing & sorting as 
desired! A text editor (. HBTECHED ) is provided with the HB-232 
Program to give a handy way to review your AutoLogged Files\ 
The HB-232 AutoLogger files its data in the same format as 
needed for AutoProramming. An AutoLogged SEARCH file can 
be programmed back into the scanner's memory channels for a 
potent SEARCH & STORE function. This process can be 
automated to eliminate duplicates and common frequencies! 

The HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface connects between a 
PC/XT/ AT/3 86/486/clone computer (512k min) and the scanner. 
A standard serial cable connects the HB-232 to the computer's 
COM port. The HB-232 can be installed inside the scanner for a 
tidy self-contained package or it can be built in a small project box, 
with a short cable and plug to mate with a receptacle mounted on 
the scanner. A serial cable connects the computer to the box. 
~ ternal installation allows tire HB-232 to be used with more than 
scanner! The scanner is not appreciably modified in either 
method; rather, 20 wires (9-more, optional) go from the HB-232 to 
various points in the scanner. Absolutely no scanner features or 
performance are altered or lost. Unequivocally, there are no 
compromises for so much to be gained! Now here is just some of 
tlie HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface 's power:: 

* Auto-magically download {AutoProgram) in less than 9-mins 
up to 400 frequencies of your choice into tlie scanner's memory 
channels, along with custom DELAY, MODE and LOCK-OUT 
settings. (Try to program 400 channels by hand in any time under 
an hour or two, and WHAT IF you find a mistake with file 
channels out of sequence back on Ch-30?) Heartbreaker, huh. 

* View and control all standard scanner keyboard functions from 
the computer! The computer monitor displays a facsimile of the 
scanner's keyboard and the LCD Display. Whatever shows in file 
scanner's LCD Display at any given time is simultaneously 
displayed on the Monitor. Press M on file computer keyboard for 
MANUAL; press S for SCAN; or press P for PRGM. All 29 keys 
of the scanner's keyboard are active at your computer's keyboard! 
Anything and everything that shows in the scanner's Display is 
simultaneously displayed on the Monitor. The scanner is operated 
directly from file computer keyboard much like it is operated from 
4 „ front panel. In fact, you can operate from either location 
alternatively or simultaneously at any time. 

* AutoLog to a handy text file the details about every "event" that 
the scanner sees! For instance, in file AutoLog mode, whenever 

* An Anti-Birdie Function, compares the frequency that the 
scanner stops on to a "REJECT" FILE, and instantly resumes 
SCANning or SEARCHing, if that frequency is in the file! Neither 
will it AutoLog momentary "birdie" stops! This superb feature is 
not limited to just "birdies"; you can put any number of other 
undesired frequencies into tlie "REJECT' file, such as for pagers, 
computer data channels, continuous tones, encrypted signals, and 1 
other frequencies that you don't want the scanner to stop on or to 
AutoLog. There are ways to automate the collection of undesirable 
signals for adding to tlie "birdie file". The HB-232 makes 
annoying lockups on birdies & boring fireqs a thing of the past! 

* The HB-232 has a powerful " Scripting " or macro function to 
allow the automation of virtually any process that would normally 
be done by hand. A Script can generate a file of what's been 
programmed into the memory channels ( CHANNEL DUMP)', to 
set a time limit for stops on various frequencies or channels; to 
lockout every frequency found during a SEARCH session so that 
duplicate log entries can be avoided', and much, much more! 

* The HB-232's LOOKUP function goes to work when file 
scanner stops on an active frequency, to check a reference data file 
and DISPLAY tlie line of text for that frequency on the Monitor for 
a quick ID of die transmission! This reference file can be tlie 
SAME file used to AutoProgram the scanner! 

* The HB-232 includes four user-definable switches that can be 
controlled from file keyboard or through a script! These switches 
are useful for controlling any modifications that you may have 
added on your own, including extended memory blocks, automatic 
tape recorder switches; data/tone squelch; and you can even wire 
one of these switches to control the stock SOUND SQUELCH 
function, if you want. Another switch can be wired to give access 
to the scanner's back-panel RESTART function! Possibilities are 
nearly endless for the User Switches ! 

"•’ill III r1 I I - «" 1 - , r ' 1 ■- I ■-*- ■ ,r ' T , "' 1 n 


Logger On 


- 0000 




^.Fl, — .F2 | , F3 ^— — ^ F4 . ,F6— .F7— »» 1 F8 ^ T iF9»_F10, 

Lookup On Logger On 



pri <1> 

■roh up <■> 



arch dn <+> 



direct <*> 

Lock** out 





lookout review 



Note in tlie above screens how tlie scanner's display remains active in all "screen pages" 
of the UB-232 Progam. Not shown are HELP, CONFIGURATION & other screens. 

NOTE: Specify floppy disk type when ordering. Computer, scanner & serial cable 
ARE NOT included in any of tlie above prices. + Manual & Disk Included. 

HB-232 Kit: Parts, Program Disk & Instruction Man: $169.95 

HB-23 2: Assembled/Tested Board: + $219.95 

HB-232: Assembled/Installed/Tested IN Scanner: + $319.95 

HB-232: Assembled/Installed/Tested in Project Box: + $3 19.95 
with cable for scanner, you wire the scanner, or, see below: 

1st Scanner wired/tested to accept the External Box: $ 79.95 

2nd & addt'l scanners wired/tested for Ext. Box: ea $ 54.95 
Instruction Manual Only; discountable against order: $ 15.00 

Calif addressees add 7.75% Sales Tax: $ 

Shipping & Handling: Kits, boards, boxes. Manual; ea: $ 5.00 
Shipping & Handling: Scanners, ea: $ 15.0C 

C.O.D. orders acceptable; add $ 7.50' 

1 1 T» * ft ft T'k t 1*0 . • v . 


Vara ion CIA 

For more info, contact us by Mail or on our Computer BBS, tlie Hertzian Intercept, 
alter 6:00pm & helms- 1:00pm, PST, at (619) 578-9247. The BBS has a special 
Message Base (#32) for HB-232 Technical Support and related topics. File Areas #10 
& #12 are applicable. Tlie monthly " WORLD SCANNER REPORT carries news of 
developments of tlie HB-232. Inquire about the "WSR" if you haven't heard about it. 
Edited & published by Bill Cheek, author of the SCANNER MODIFICATION 
HANDBOOKS, tlie "WSR' is dedicated to scanner technology & modifications! 


Hie HB-232 has a built-in text editor to help edit your AutoLog and AutoProgram 
files and any oilier text files, for tliat matterl There's also capability to add a couple of 
your favorite DOS tuer tools such as LIST, PC TOOLS, XTOOLD, NORTON, elo. to 
make operating life in tlie HB-232's Program easier still! 


Tlie microprocessor of tlie HB-232 it programmed by your computer every time 
you run tlie HB-232 Program! No expensive "hard programming" or firmware on tliis 
chip. Not only can low cost Upgrades be done to tlie HB-232 Program, but also tlie 
HB-232 will attract 3rd Party Developers for supporting programs and utilities. 

Following is tlie Main Screen tliat allows a facsimile of tlie PRO-2004/3/6 Keyboard. 

Tlie HB-232 comes standard as a Kit of Parts, Program Disk and detailed 
Instruction MaiutaL You build & install tlie HB-232 or get someone (us?)to do it for 
you. Tlie HB-232 Kit includes a printed circuit board. Motorola microprocessor & 
special socket, 6-lC's, 4-resistor networks (similar to an IC), a quartz crystal, 2-resistors, 

& 13 -capacitors. NOT supplied are computer, scanner, serial cable; 3 -common 1C 
sockets ; wiring; lugs, connectors; pin-line sockets, tools, solder, project box, etc. Tlie 
HB-232 Kit is complete, Ainctionally, however. Assembly/lnstaliation aren't diffn^^l 
requiring mostly basic soldering skills, patience & ability to read & follow directions 
and to match components with a parts location diagram. Installation, whether in a 
project box or inside tlie scanner, is a bit mechanical, though within tlie capability of 
most hobbyists. Tlie finished HB-232 board measures 3-l/8”L x 2-5/8"W x 9/16"H. 

Installation of tlie HB-232 in (or connection to) tlie PRO-2004/3/6 scanners is not 
difficult. Scanner circuits are not altered; only wires are connected to readily 
identifiable points. Tlie HB-232 Project is mostly time consuming, but if you are 
patient and can handle a soldering pencil, read and follow written directions in English; 
and do a little mechanical work, then tliis project should be witliin your scope. The HB- 
232 lias been Beta & Charley tested by more than 50 hobbyists, ranging from entry- 
level to expert. All have reported success and great satisfaction with the HB-232. The 
time require*? for construction/installation has been typically 6-12 hours. 


- subject to change without notice. 


342,168.7750, f D,,, v , v , FEDQ, USES , SDQ r Emergency Intarayatam, 

343 . 169 . 1250. , D, , , , , , ,rEDQ,UBFa,8Da r Clavaland Link to Angolan HF f 

344.169.1500. , D, ±± , , , , FEDQ, UBF8 , BDO, Air Tac 2 , 

34$, 164.925 0, ,D,',' ,,,, ,FgDQ,USF8,8DO, Primary Emargancy Channal, j 

346, 17a . 0000 , , D, , ,, , ,, FEDfl, USES, SDQ, Cleveland F-5 fSj - Air Tac 4, 

347.170. 5000., D, ,,,,,, FEDQ, USFS, SDO, Cleveland Input to 168.750 (R>, 

348. 170 . 5250. . . , FEDO, USFS, SDO, Input to 169.925 (R) , 

Uoo Ctrl 4* Arrow Kaye to Scroll Loft and Right 

Below is tlie AutoLog Screen allowing a recent log entry for: Ch-58, 164.2000 MHz, 
NFM mode, Delay set; no LockOut, Scan Mode, Sept 03, 1992, 3:23:06 pm, and tlie 
transmission lasted for 27 seconds. Other pertinent data is shown in tliis screen,too 

Orders for HB-232 Kits are now being accepted. We’ll confirm your order upon receipt 
by prompt shipment at a notice of when shipment is expected. Refund available any 
time before shipment after which, our formal Refund Policies take effect. Return witliin 
3 days for 100% reltind or witliin 6-30 days for an 80% refiind (both less SftH). H>' 
Policies are contingent upon return of tlie clear plastic Bag of Parts with its ^ 
unbroken & untampered, but you're free to examine the Manual and to run the Program. 
Great tech support available via Mail & The Hertzian Intercept BBS. (See below.) 

Tlie screen below depicts the LookUp feature with a stop on Ch-343, 169.9250 MHz, 
followed by tlie descriptive text for tliat frequency from a reference data base. 




123456789 10 

lank ■ ■■•*■■■■■ 

98 oh 164.2000 Mbs 

Dalav nfm 

AutoLog g«r Path! Cl \8CA2fNEA8\BBTECB\CHARLBY\ 

Lookup Vila M«un« t riDOPRIQ.LSS 
Rejeat Fils Rama i -nona apecified- 

■eripfc Fila Ramei -nona- 

i Currant Script Lina i 

IB HELP^n* Is ^T^OOKu!Tn!* , R5« , "PcRIP?Tf l CONriO ,l TT5jEC^^^OOLTniLO?TPAO? 

Loqgar On 

The price of the HB-232 Kit is USS169.9S + S5 S&ll: (Canada/Mexico & other 
surface-foreign, $10 S&H) All foreign, add proportionally more for Air Mail. Payment 
in US Funds ONLY: cash, money order, certified check,petsonsl cluck, MasterCard & 
Visa. Cash is risky and checks may delay shipment for bank clearance. Signature 
required for credit-card orders. Dealers & volume purchasers inquire for details. 


The information on this sheet is a collection of what's appeared in magazine print 
about the HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface so far. 

The HB-232 



The Year of the Interface — 

In February I said 1992 was the Year of the 
Interface; in March I reviewed two possible 
candidates. Now there's another new interface 
just announced; the HB-232 Scanner/Computer 
Interface, developed by Commtronics. It is 
designed to turn your PRO-2004, PRO-2005 or 
PRO-2006 scanner into atotal monitoring system. 
The following is an overview of the HB-232’s 
most prominent features. 

The HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface 
connects between a PC/XT/AT/386/486/clone 
computer (512-k min) and a PRO-2004/5/6 
scanner. A standard serial cable connects the 
HB-232 to the computer’s COM port. The HB- 
232 can be installed inside the scanner, or better 
still, in a small project box, with a short cable and 
plug to mate with a receptacle mounted on the 
scanner. This latter method allows the HB-232 to 
be used with two or more scanners! The scanner 
is not appreciably modified cither way: just 
some point-to-point wiring. Features and 
performance of the scanner aren’t sacrificed, 
altered or lost by the addition of the HB-232. 

Here are some of the HB-232’s capabilities: 

• Autoprograms into the scanner's memory 
channels up to 400 frequencies in less than nine 
minutes, along with desired custom settings of 

• Views and controls all 29 standard scanner 
keyboard functions from the computer. The 
monitor displays a facsimile of the scanner's 
keyboard and its LCD display. Whatever appears 
in the scanner’s display at any given time is 
simultaneously displayed on the monitor. 
Press M on the computer keyboard for MANUAL; 
press S for SCAN; press P for PRGM, etc. 

• AutoLogs details of every “event” seen by 
the scanner to a text file. When the AutoLog 
mode is set and SQUELCH breaks, the computer 
writes & appends a line to a text file that shows 
channel number or SEARCH Bank; frequency; 
MODE setting (NFM, AM or WFM); DELAY 
status (On or Off); LOCKOUT status; SEARCH 
increment (if applicable); Date; Start Time; and 
Duration of transmission. This text file is 
“comma-delimited" to make it exceptionally 
easy to load into almost any database manager 
for further processing & sorting as desired! 

• When the scanner stops on an active 
frequency, an Anti-Birdie Function can compare 
that frequency to a file list of frequencies and 
instantly resume scanning or searching, if that 
frequency is on file. This feature is not limited to 
just “birdies”; any number of other undesired 
frequencies can go into the “birdie file,” such as 
for pagers, computer data channels, continuous 
tones, encrypted signals, and other frequencies 
that you don’t want the scanner to stop on or to 
AutoLog. There are even ways to automate the 
collection of undesired signals to add to the 
“birdie file.” 

The HB-232 also offers several ways to 
Search & Store, some without duplicating 
previously logged frequencies. A powerful, but 
easy to use. Script function provides the capability 
to customize and automate many otherwise 
laborious scanner operations. A special LookUp 
function displays a line of text to identify each 
scanner stop. 

Four user-definable switches, controllable 
from the keyboard or through script, and five 
logic-status inputs are standard with the HB- 
232, to provide a variety of non-standard scanner 
operations and control. The user switches can 
control modifications and external circuits that 
may have been retrofitted to the scanner, such as 
extended memory blocks , automatic tape recorder 

t switches, etc. The logic status inputs can trigger 
logical decision-making functions in the Script 
feature as well as test various processes or 
functions not otherwise visible or controllable 
by software. 

A built-in text editor affords simple, easy 
editing of HB-232 datafiles. The HB-232 offers 
configurable menu positions for two user tools 
of choice, typically DOS utilities, to make 
interface life much easier. 

The heart of the HB -232 is a microprocessor 
chip that’s programmed by the computer when 
the HB-232 program is booted. This means 
there’s no expensive, impossible-to-replicate 
firmware on the circuit board; just generic or 
readily available parts. The program and the 
microprocessor are the sole controllers of the 
HB -232; easily and economically upgradable by 
periodic revisions on disk. The “architecture” of 
the HB-232 may become open to bona-fide 
developers to encourage third-party support. 

OK, so what’s the catch? None really, unless 
maybe it's that the HB -232 comes as akitof parts 
with a printed circuit board and a program disk 
at a cost of SI 69.95. Considering the detailed 
documentation and guided steps for the 
procedure, that’s not much of a catch. „ ■ 


Ihe HB-232 Is the long awaited RS-232 scanner 
controller and data acquisition system brought to 
you by BIS Cheek, author of the Scanner Modification 

The HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface Kit + Includes: 

• printed circuit board and essential electronic parts 

• Control Program on Disk: (specify disk size! 

• detailed documentation 8i photos on assembly. 
Installation & operation 

• wide area network technical support 

• hOJM KjniUttm »H0> u a ( KH IW Mi W 

Designed tor Ihe PRO-2004/5/6 scanner series the 
HB-232 features AutoLog AutoProgram Data LookUp 
Scripts & much more with nearly unlimited variations 
of computer control & data collection from Ihe 
scanner. Facilitates maximum performance without 
compromise Easy to Install & use; minimal Invasion 
to scanneit Discover a new dimension of racBo 
scannlngl Order todayl $149.95 +$5 Slrltck, mo, 
MC/V1SA. IWtomHb 

COMMtronlcs Engineering 

P.O. BOX 262478-M 
San Diego, CA 92196-2478 
(619) 578-9247 
i.-30pm-5:30pm, PST: voice Only 
6:00pm-1 :00pm, PST: BBS & FAX Only 


Controller for 

Commtronics Engineering has 
designed a scanner-computer 
interface for the Tandy/Realistic 
PRO-2004, PRO-2005 and PRO- 
2006 programmable VHF/UHF 
scanners that allows you to 
control them by computer. A 
640k IBM PC/XT/AT/386/486 or 
clone with 9600-baud COM 
(serial) port and MSDOS 3.3 and 
up is required. 

Some of the features of the 
HB-232 include autoprogram, 
which can download to the 
scanner up to 400 memory 
channels at a time from a 
database; autologger, which 
records new frequencies discov- 
ered by the scanner; an anti- 
birdie device; pull-down menus 
and more. 

HB-232 is a kit including PC- 
board and essential parts, 
program disk and detailed 
instructions available for $169.95. 
plus S5 shipping and handling. 
Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. 

You can get more information 
or order one by writing to 
Commtronics Engineering, P.O. 
Box 262478-MT, San Diego, CA 
92196-2478 or call 619-578-9247 
from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm Pacific 



(Autographed copies 
available nowhere else!) , 

Volume 1 of the Scanner Modification Handbook proved that the average hobbyist could easily 
perform some relatively simple changes in the equipment and emerge from the experience with a 
greatly enhanced scanner. The step-by-step instructions and photos left no questions unanswered 
and even totally non-technical people found that they could restore functions that had been 
locked out at the factory, or add anywhere from 100 to B,000 more memory channels to popular 
scanners such as the Radio Shack Realistic PR0-2004, PR0-2005, PR0-2006, PRO-34 and others. 

Now, in Volume 2, modification master Bill Cheek brings you more great enhancements for the 
PR0-2004 ; PR0-2005, PR0-200B, PRO-34, PRO-2022 and Uniden Bearcats BC-100XLT; BC-200/205XLT; and 
BC-7B0/950XLT . He shows how to adapt many of these modifications to other scanners as well. In 
Volume 2, you'll get new circuits and simpler but more effective approaches to adding signal 
strength meters, adjusting the scan delay time (0-12 sec), speeding up scan 4 search rates, 
decoding and using CTCSS tones, adding more memory channels, adding an event counter, shielding 
plastic cased equipment, reducing interference, restoring locked out bands, adding center tuning 
meters, and more. Vol-2 also contains updates to the modifications that appeared in Vol-1 , plus 
more tips, hints, explanations, and tricks of the trade to make scanners more useful and 

Learn how to realign your PR0-2004/5/B scanner; how to use a VCR to record the action from your 
scanner; how to diagnose and repair some scanner problems; how to use Computer BBS's to improve 
your scanning knowledge. Find out about buying a used scanner; about collecting scanners; how to 
get a big boost in the audio output of your scanner; how to build a bench power supply and lots 
more. It's all there in Volume 2 of the Scanner Modification Handbook. You'll even learn about 
dealing with those new trunked BOO MHz systems that seem so difficult to monitor. 

There are plenty of photos and the text is written so that the average hobbyist can follow the 
clear step-by-step instructions. And, you don't need exotic test equipment or extra special 
tools to do these modifications. Scanner owners will find Vol-2 to be a valuable and constantly 
useful reference in many ways. A few modifications suggest that the user be familiar with the 
information in Vol-1 first. 

The Scanner Modification Handbooks are now available from the author with his autograph and a 
personal salutation, if desired, for $17.95 ea plus $3.00 shipping 4 handling. (Canada, $4.00 
S4H; other foreign, $5.00 S 4 H. Add sufficient extra funds for air mail if desired.) Order 
from and make remittance payable to: 

PO Box 262478-B San Diego, -California USA 92196-2478